Keynote session: "Electronic Commerce at the Crossroads"
Keynotes. Introduction and opening remarks by the Forum chair, Mr. Herwig Schlögl (15 min.). Addresses (15 min. each) by four senior keynote speakers. Discussion (10 min.) and summing up by the Forum chair (5 min.).
After one year of phenomenal expansion of the global electronic marketplace since the Ottawa Ministerial Conference, the landscape of the digital economy has changed significantly, opening up new perspectives on the development of electronic commerce. Over the past year, the number of consumers and businesses with access to the Internet and the possibility to engage in electronic commerce, by any measure, has increased rapidly. The performance of the information and communication technology industries, in terms of productivity and growth, has been remarkable. The impacts of electronic commerce are now clearly discernible throughout our economies and societies. The focus of this forum is to take stock of one year's progress concerning the effectiveness of self-regulation and of action to create a favourable environment in which global electronic commerce can develop and create growth, jobs, trade and broadly shared social benefit. Among the subjects which may be addressed are:
The economic and social perspectives for electronic commerce and the global digital economy;
Collaborative approaches to stakeholder interest in the digital economy;
Business, governments and citizens and the "borderless world";
Regulation and self-regulation -- complements or alternatives?;
The creation of wealth and the "digital divide".
Conference Chair, Session Chair and Opening Remarks: Herwig Schlögl, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD [ bio ]
Francis Lorentz, Head of the Electronic Commerce Task Force, France [ bio ; speech]
Christian Trudeau, Executive Vice-president and Chief Operating Officer, BCE Emergis [ bio ; speech]
John Mogg, Director General, DG XV, European Commission [ bio ]
Philip Jennings, General Secretary of the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees (FIET) [ bio ; speech]
Working session: "Electronic Commerce for Users and Consumers: Building Trust and Other Issues"
Discussion. Introduction by the session chair, Ms. Jytte Ølgaard (5 min.). Introductory presentations by two invited speakers (10 min. each). Discussion (45 min.) and summing up by the session chair (5 min.)
Users must gain confidence in the digital marketplace. National regulatory frameworks and safeguards that provide such confidence in the physical marketplace must be adjusted, where necessary, to help ensure continued confidence in the context of global networks. Questions about consumer protection and privacy protection, and the establishment of secure infrastructures and systems for authentication and certification still present formidable challenges to the development of a climate of trust in the new globally networked society. Businesses, users and consumers alike should be aware of their rights and responsibilities online. Efforts to provide information, education and access to technological tools to help empower users and consumers, coupled with market-led self-regulatory initiatives or regulatory safeguards that include effective enforcement and redress mechanisms, will all help build trust and confidence. Issues include:
the development and implementation of effective mechanisms to protect consumer interests: technologies, adapting the existing legal and self-regulatory framework, public/private partnerships;
the need for national policy and laws related to authentication and certification to be consistent in facilitating party autonomy, technology neutrality, user confidence, "non-discrimination" in relation to different types of authentication technology, and the development of global authentication and certification mechanisms;
Session Chair: Jytte Ølgaard, National Consumer Agency, Denmark, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Policy [ bio ]
Julian Edwards, Director General, Consumers International [ bio ]
Joëlle Freundlich, Chargée des Affaires Réglementaires - Commerce Electronique, Cegetel (Vivendi) and GBDe Jurisdiction Issue Group Europe/Africa Contact Person [ bio ]
Working session: "Enhancing the Information Infrastructure for Electronic Commerce".
Discussion. Introduction by the session chair, Mr. Richard C. Beaird (5 min.). Introductory presentations by two invited speakers (10 min. each). Discussion (45 min.) and summing up by the session chair (5 min.).
The growth of global electronic commerce depends upon a global information infrastructure. Developing this infrastructure requires creating effective competition in telecommunications markets and ensuring the growth of global electronic commerce through expanded access to the information infrastructure and services. User-supplier relationships in communications markets are evolving and new challenges are emerging to market liberalisation. Issues include:
Access to and use of the information infrastructure (market opening; building the infrastructure and development of broadband networks; quality and capacity of the infrastructure, infrastructure requirements for businesses and households; pricing and access; universal and affordable access);
Session Chair: Richard C. Beaird, Dept. of State, U.S., Chair of the Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy
Allan Fischer-Madsen, Vice Chairman, International Telecommunications User Group (INTUG) and Chairman, INTUG-Europe, Chair of Danish Data Association [bio]
Jean-François Abramatic, Chairman of the W3C, Research Director, INRIA, France [bio]
Working session: "Establishing Ground Rules for the Digital Marketplace"
Discussion. Introduction by the session chair, Mr. Dirk Witteveen (5 min.). Introductory presentations by two invited speakers (10 min. each). Discussion (45 min.) and summing up by the session chair (5 min.)
All players -- business, governments, consumers -- have an interest in that clear, consistent and predictable taxation "rules" for global electronic commerce should be similar in scope, objective and effect to those for traditional business transactions. Appropriate taxation principles of neutrality, efficiency, certainty, simplicity, effectiveness, fairness and flexibility, developed around a stable legal framework that promotes a competitive environment for global electronic commerce must be implemented. Issue:
Session Chair: Dirk Witteveen, Director General, Ministry of Finance, Netherlands; Vice-chair of the Committee for Fiscal Affairs
Rachel Radford, Assistant Director, International Division, Inland Revenue, United Kingdom [ bio ]
Judith Scarabello, Director, Federal Government Affairs, AT&T; Chair, BIAC/ICC Joint Working Group on Taxation of Electronic Commerce [ bio ]
Working session: "Maximising the benefits"
Discussion. Introduction by the session chair, Mr. Bruno Lamborghini (5 min.). Introductory presentations by two lead speakers (10 min. each). Discussion (45 min.) and summing up by session chair (5 min.)
The transition to a digital economy is an important part of the broader move towards a global information society. The full economic and social potential of electronic commerce will only be realised through its widespread use by businesses, consumers and public institutions. Measurement tools are in their infancy. Understanding of how the digital economy develops and impacts economic actors is rudimentary. Yet a clear grasp of the social and economic impacts and the needs of business large and small, governmental and non-governmental organisations and individuals, whether as workers, students, consumers or citizens in both developing and developed countries is required. Issues include:
Analysis of the economic and social impact (special focus on business);
Skills and employment, education;
Participation of small and medium-sized enterprises;
Ensuring global awareness and participation; "bridging the digital divide";
Government services, administration and electronic commerce;
Measurement and definition.
Session Chair: Bruno Lamborghini, Member of the Board of Olivetti, Chair of Eurobit/Ectel, chair of BIAC Committee on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises [bio]
Harris Miller, President, ITAA and WITSA [ bio; presentation]
Joel Yudken, Sectoral Economist & Technology Policy Analyst, AFL-CIO [ bio ]
Concluding session: "Expanding Global Markets: The Road Ahead"
Followed by a Press Conference.
Panel. Introduction by the Forum Chair, Mr. Herwig Schlögl (5 min.). 6 addresses (10 min. each) from representatives of the various economic actors. Discussion (20 min.). Closing remarks by Mr Schlögl (5 min.).
After a year's effort on an issue-by-issue basis it is timely to take stock of the overall accomplishments in creating a favourable environment for commerce in the expanding global electronic marketplace, and, in the OECD at least, assess the consequences for priorities. This session will also provide an opportunity to share views on what remains to be done to implement the mandates of Ottawa, as well as in the context of the wider policy agenda for the digital economy. Issues include:
Trade policy and market access
Action Plans and progress reports;
Looking ahead: remaining work at the international level.
Conference Chair and Session Chair: Herwig Schlögl, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD
Arne Rodin, Deputy Director General, Division for International Trade Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden; Chair of the OECD Trade Committee [ bio ]
Lee Tuthill, Counsellor, Trade in Services Division, WTO [ bio ; speech]
Elliot Maxwell, Special Advisor to the Secretary for the Digital Economy, Dept. of Commerce, U.S.
Michio Naruto, Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Fujitsu Ltd. [ bio ; presentation]
James Love, Director, Consumer Project on Technology (CPT) [bio]
Philippe Lemoine, Co-President, Groupe Galeries Lafayette; Chairman, Electronic Commerce Project Group, MEDEF (France)